Language selection


2022 - Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence Snow Crab Conservation Harvesting Plan Crab Fishing Area 12E

Moncton and Quebec – March 31, 2022

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) releases the details of the 2022 snow crab fishery Conservation Harvesting Plan for the Crab Fishing Area (CFA) 12E.


The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) in CFA 12E is 195.240 t. The TAC is distributed based on historic shares of 75% for New Brunswick (146.430 t), 12.5% for Quebec and 12.5% for Prince Edward Island (24.405 t each).

Quota reconciliation

Quota reconciliation is applied in this fishery. Any individual quota overrun incurred by licence holders in one season will be deducted, on a one-for-one basis, from their individual quota for the following season. It is the responsibility of the licence holders to track their quotas to ensure that catches taken in the course of their fishing operations comply with the quotas allocated to them.

Temporary transfers

Licence holders who are subject to the owner-operator policy may transfer up to 50% of their initial quota on a temporary basis, within one fishing season.

Partnership arrangements

The creation of partnerships is permitted. The number of traps would be 1.5 times the number of traps of the licence with the greater number of traps.

New in 2022

Discarding waste

In 2022, all commercial fisheries in Canada have a new condition of licence relating to the discharge of garbage from Canadian fishing vessels. The licence holder/operator is prohibited from discarding in Canadian fisheries waters from their vessel any time that may be harmful to fish or fish habitat. 

Fishing gear reporting system (or Lost gear reporting)

A new online system was launched in July 2021 to allow commercial harvesters to conveniently input lost and retrieved gear information from any smart electronic device. The system is able to capture information such as descriptions, cause of loss and location of the lost gear. Fish harvesters can create their account and begin reporting their data through the system at this website:  Sign in (

Possible access to CFA 12

As in 2021, the Department will continue to support access to CFA 12 for fish harvesters impacted by the closure of fishing grounds in CFAs 12E and/or 12F as a result of the application of management measures for the protection of NARWs.

The access criteria will be communicated separately in a Notice to Fish Harvesters.  

2022 management measures

Unless indicated otherwise, existing management measures remain in place.  Please refer to your Snow crab licence conditions for further details. The management measures in 2022 include, amongst others:

2022 management measures to minimize interactions with North Atlantic Right Whales

The management measures to minimize interactions with North Atlantic Right Whales (NARW) can be found here.

Permanent fishing closures

Coral and sponge conservation areas:  On December 15, 2017, Fisheries and Oceans Canada created eleven coral and sponge conservation areas in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence in order to protect areas with high concentrations of sponges and sea pens.                                                    

All fishing activities that use bottom-contact gear or gear designed to come into contact with the sea bed, including but not limited to bottom trawls, dredges, gillnets, bottom longlines, bottom seines and traps, are forbidden in the conservation areas.   

For more information and maps of the eleven coral and sponge conservation areas, please visit the following website: Coral and Sponge Conservation Measures in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence (

Date modified: